We have two Student Loan threshold for 2018-19 with the annual thresholds as follows: Plan 1 £18,330; Plan 2 £25,000. That much is clear and whether someone is eligible to repay their student loan depends on these annual thresholds.
However, the provisional and estimated collection is dependent on the calculation performed in payroll software and it is seldom that the annual thresholds are used. Here we rely on the monthly and weekly thresholds, as advised by HMRC to software developers. This involves the use of pounds and pence and not the thresholds that are confusingly published in HMRCs guidance ‘Rates and thresholds for employers: 2018 to 2019’.
Hopefully, this will be corrected at the time that the student loan ‘SL3’ tables are published. If employers are unable to do it manually, these tables are the ones that employers could look at when checking that software has produced the correct loan repayment calculation. Indeed, when I queried this with HMRC’s Software Developer Support Team they assured me that they would include pounds and pence. I do hope so, though you will see that it was not corrected in 2017-18 where the ‘Rates and thresholds’ for that year show round pounds whereas the SL3 shows pounds and pence.
About the tables
The pdf format of these tables disappeared from 2015-16 when they began to be published in HTML format. Previously, they were known as the E17 tables. HTML is the format for most of gov.uk’s publications.
The Collection of Student Loans forum, a sub-section of HMRC’s Employment and Payroll Group (EPG) seems to be spending a lot of time talking about the absence of the pdf version. A version in pdf would allow them to be printed by employers and there are comments such as:
Both of these were made in 2016 ahead of the 2017-18 HTML document and I see that HMRC are still continuing to pursue gov.uk to make the tables more ‘user friendly’. Which makes me wonder if, maybe, this consultation group should just accept that the tables are not produced in pdf and consider if HMRC continuing to pursue gov.uk is an appropriate use of their time.
If we have not had pdf tables since the start of the 2015-16 tax year, it also makes me question whether anyone actually uses them, let alone prints them.